Over the past several years, the United States has seen an influx of drug addiction that has swept the nation. Specifically, opioids have been the cause for concern and created a crisis, unlike anything that has been seen in American history.
Florida has taken the brunt of the hit, and today, the state is doing its best to reel out of this unfortunate position. In 2016, there were 2,798 opioid-related overdose deaths in Florida. This was at a staggering rate of 14.4 deaths per 100,000 persons. The death rate has increased due to synthetic drugs like fentanyl. In 2016, there were 1,566 synthetic opioid-related deaths compared to a mere 200 in 2013.
Another drug that has reemerged on the drug scene is cocaine. Florida is a hub for drugs coming in from South America, and this is the first stop for the powerful stimulant drug. Unfortunately, it is not leaving the state. Cocaine has been the primary drug threat for years until the opioid crisis worsened. In 2009, 7,701 people were admitted to drug abuse treatment programs for crack cocaine, and another 3,815 for powder cocaine.
As of 2012 in Florida, a total of 54,357 people received help for their addiction; 41.2 percent were enrolled into treatment for a drug problem and 16.4 percent for an alcohol problem only. With such a large number of the state’s population entering into drug rehab facilities, it is necessary to draft laws that protect the state’s growing population. With drug abuse rampant and continually on the rise, we have seen a vast increase in people seeking treatment.
Having the necessary laws in place to protect people who enroll in addiction treatment can be the difference between life and death. If someone attends a fraudulent facility that doesn’t follow the rules, their experience will be negative, which, in turn, could cause them to abandon their sobriety.
A poor experience will be seared into someone’s mind the next time they think of getting treatment, so to prevent this from occurring, it is essential to know the laws put in place to protect clients. Below, we discuss some of the most important features implemented by drug treatment centers to ensure you or your loved one’s safety.
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Due to the rise of fraudulent sober living homes in the past several years, there have been laws implemented such as bill HB 807, which is designed to curb sober home abuse and corruption by imposing criminal penalties on sober home operators who fraudulently market their facility or run it without a license. The bill also includes more stringent background checks and imposes increased penalties for violations of state guidelines that already exist. According to the law:
Part of bill HB 807 (SB 788), includes new guidelines set in place that also include oversights of Florida medical detoxification centers. Drug treatment center marketers will need to be licensed by the state’s Division of Consumer Services to ensure their authenticity and complicity. Deceiving or lying about treatment services or amenities offered will be classified as a first-degree misdemeanor.
In Florida, there is a law called the Marchman Act that allows family members to involuntarily commit a loved one to medical detox if they fit the criteria. Family members can file a petition under the Marchman Act with their local Clerk of Court to set a hearing for their loved one. Courts can then order them to get treatment and work toward getting sober
The Florida Mental Health Act, also known as the Baker Act,allows involuntary institutionalization and examination of an individual. It can be initiated by judges, law enforcement officers, physicians, or mental health professionals. There are two pieces of evidence to enact it that include:
The examinations can last up to 72 hours after a person is deemed medically unstable. Several outcomes can occur as a result of the law. The individual can be released back into the community, be petitioned for involuntary inpatient placement, involuntary outpatient placement, or voluntary treatment.
When someone is taken into custody against their will, it can be a frightening experience for themselves and their family members. The examination that must take place must include that abnormalities of thought, mood or behavior due to non-psychiatric causes have been ruled out.
Tests conducted to rule out ailments include:
It’s a fact that not all drug treatment programs are created equally. As we’ve mentioned, the rise in fraudulent rehab centers has sparked controversy, leading to the implementation of the laws that have been discussed. If you have decided to take the step and commit to a better life, you need to understand what a bad treatment center can look like. Here are some signs to look out for:
Questions you must ask:
These are essential do’s and don’ts when deciding on a facility. You are taking the step for a better life, not an action that can make it significantly worse and cause your addiction to spiral from inept owners looking to make a dollar. Fortunately, the laws have taken care of a good chunk of the inadequate facilities statewide, but that doesn’t mean some don’t exist. Take the initiative to know what you need and apply it to your decision.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, February 28). Florida Opioid Summary. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/florida-opioid-summary
Division of Consumer Services. (n.d.) Consumer Services. Retrieved from https://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/consumers/
Florida House of Representatives. (2017 Legislature) CS/CS/HB 807. Retrieved from https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/807/BillText/er/PDF
Marchman Act Marchman Act Florida. (2020) What is the Marchman Act? Retrieved from https://marchmanactflorida.com/
Florida Mental Health Act Online Sunshine. The 2019 Florida Statutes. PART I FLORIDA MENTAL HEALTH ACT. Retrieved from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0394/0394PARTIContentsIndex.html